Romanian ambassador shuns Hungarian foreign ministry summons over WW1 cemetery events

Romania’s ambassador to Hungary has been summoned to the foreign ministry to account for Thursday’s events at a Hungarian WW1 memorial cemetery in Valea Uzului (Uzvolgye) but refused to comply, citing conflicting orders, a ministry official said in Budapest on Friday.

At the cemetery, the local council has erected a memorial site for Romanian soldiers fallen in the second world war. Ahead of the site’s inauguration late on Thursday, the visitors of that event clashed with Szekler demonstrators and eventually forced their way into the cemetery.

State Secretary Levente Magyar called the events an “anti-Hungarian provocation”. The ministry has issued a diplomatic note of protest and summoned the ambassador. Refusing to answer the summons was “below all courtesy and friendship”, Magyar said.

“Romania has refused an opportunity for dialogue.” Hungary still has a vested interest in a correct and good relationship with Romania to ensure the peaceful coexistence of Hungarians and Romanians, Magyar said.

The latest events raise questions about Romania’s good faith in upholding those ties, he said. Romanian authorities stood idly by as “the graves were defiled”, and watched as Romanian attackers beat peaceful Hungarian protesters, he said. Hungary expects Romania to thoroughly review this “shameful incident”, he said.

The Romanian foreign ministry, in a statement sent to MTI, blamed Hungarian officials for “creating tension” and insisted that the Romanian side had tried to calm down the parties and urged a “balanced solution acceptable for both communities”. In its statement, the Romanian foreign ministry highlighted the “international” character of the cemetery and said that each country has the right to pay tribute to their dead buried there.

The allied ruling Fidesz and Christian Democratic parties have strongly condemned “the action carried out by Romanian extremists” in the cemetery. “The violence and provocation in the Valea Uzului cemetery is unacceptable. Desecrating a cemetery with heroes resting there and the crosses on their graves is an outrageous act. Romanian authorities must take steps in order to eliminate the tension,” Fidesz said in a statement, pledging the Hungarian government’s support to the Transylvanian Hungarian community in connection with the affair.

Opposition Jobbik has strongly condemned the clash as an unprecedented incident and demands an immediate investigation into the matter. The conservative party has called on the Hungarian government to take resolute action through every possible diplomatic channel including international organisations in the matter, a lawmaker of the party told a press conference.

Opposition LMP has strongly condemned the Romanian diplomatic response as “impolite and unprecedentedly harsh in its manner”. The party has also called on the Hungarian government to take resolute action.

Source and photo: MTI

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